Ellen Germain assumed her duties as Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues on August 23, 2021. She is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. Ms. Germain served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2018-2021. Her previous positions include director of the Office of Arabian Peninsula Affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (2015-2017), head of the U.S. Consulate General in Krakow, Poland (2012-2015), and postings as deputy political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad (2007-2008) and at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York (2008-2012) where she was responsible for issues relating to the Middle East, East Asia, and nonproliferation.
In Washington, DC, Ms. Germain has also held positions in the offices of Russian Affairs, Israel-Palestinian Affairs, and Maghreb Affairs. Her other overseas tours were Tel Aviv, London, and Moscow. She joined the Foreign Service in 1995.
Ms. Germain was born and raised in New York City. She graduated from Hunter College High School and holds a B.A. in English from Stanford University, an M.A. in English from Columbia University, and an MPhil in computer speech and language processing from Cambridge University.
Before joining the Foreign Service, Ms. Germain worked as a computer programmer and then as a science journalist. She speaks Bosnian and Polish, has studied Russian, and thinks she still remembers some French and Hebrew.